Andrew Harrison was educated in London and completed a degree in Economics prior to joining the Parachute Regiment in 1990. His service through the 1990’s included multiple tours to Northern Ireland, a year with the UN in Iraq, exchanges to 2/1 RNZIR in Christchurch and 3 RAR in Sydney, an instructor’s post at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and as a desk officer with the Directorate of Military Operations.
In 2000 Andrew was posted to Sierra Leone as an unarmed UN Military Observer. On the outbreak of civil war he was captured and held for 12 days by rebels from the Revolutionary United Front. He subsequently escaped to a rebel-surrounded UN enclave and after three months of isolation the group were relieved in a UKSF/UN assault. He was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire for his conduct in captivity.
Following a Masters Degree in Defence Administration and Joint Staff College, Andrew assumed rifle company command and led his Company in the 2003 liberation of Iraq. Thereafter he was appointed Chief of Staff of 20 Armoured Brigade and returned to Basra with the Brigade in 2006. He was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for his service in Iraq.
In 2007 Andrew organised the repatriation of UK deceased from Iraq and Afghanistan in 68 ceremonies. He was then posted to the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters and finished this tour seconded to 3 Commando Brigade in Helmand, Afghanistan. In 2009 Andrew assumed command of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, returning to Helmand the next year. During the tour Andrew was wounded. He was appointed a companion to the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership in Afghanistan.
On promotion to Colonel, Andrew became the military lead in the Team responsible for Afghanistan planning at the Ministry of Defence. In 2012 he attended the UK’s Higher Command and Staff Course. Andrew was subsequently promoted to Brigadier and made responsible for Joint Fires and Influence in the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. In 2016 Andrew completed a Masters Degree in Politics and Policy and the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College. He became the UK’s Defence Adviser in Canberra in January 2017.
Andrew is married to Carolyn, an ex Army Officer and teacher. They have three daughters. Andrew was Vice President of the Army Winter Sports Association and in his spare time enjoys cricket, skiing, cycling, running and military history.